Yes, it's decorative gourd time for the Friday Five.

Yes, it's decorative gourd time for the Friday Five.

It’s here. Autumn is here. We can smell the Pumpkin Spice Lattes brewingnearby. Soon the leaves will be changing colors. (Well, leaves in other places. In Los Angeles, the trees either dry up or don’t change color at all.) To help ease the seasonal shift, here are five good reads about nonprofit-related news. 

1) Puerto Rico is going through economic turmoil, but that hasn’t stopped its citizens from being generous. In fact, Puerto Ricans clobbered mainland Americans this quarter in terms of the percentage of households who reported making charitable contributions, 74.9% to 55.8%. The study Giving in Puerto Rico conducted a deep dive on the data, and it’s inspiring to read about how supportive Puerto Ricans are even when their territory is suffering:

2)  Bidding wars may be good for Silicon Valley’s high-tech workers, but not its nonprofit organizations. As average salaries increase to the six-figure zone, landlords are raising commercial rents accordingly, and nonprofits are finding themselves squeezed out of their buildings. The two greatest needs that nonprofits have, salaries and overhead, are needs that Silicon Valley donors don’t want to pay for. Fast Company has a detailed exploration of the problem:

3) Nonprofits are owned by the public and disallowed from enriching private individuals and as such, self-dealing transactions are frowned upon by the IRS. A good example of a self-dealing transaction would be a person who used foundation funds for personal expensesthat’s use of charitable funds to personally benefit the person in question, and that’s a no-no. Reports show that the Trump Foundation has done just that. The Friday Five offers this link as a cautionary tale:

Expanding on this, Paul Waldman at the Washington Post raises some additional concerns about the appearance of conflict of interest regarding the Trump Foundation and some questionable donations it made:

4) Recent disputed police shootings of African-American men in Tulsa and Charlotte have put police procedures and racial questions back in the headlines. Philanthropic, the blog of Philanthropy News Digest, announced that the California-based James Irvine Foundation will be coordinating a $1.3 million program to increase trust between police and communities, building on a pilot program in Oakland. You can get all the details on the Irvine Foundation’s efforts here:

5) Could improving student performance in American schools be as simple as bringing back recess? The American Academy of Pediatrics thinks so, and so does the LiiNK Project (Let’s Inspire Innovation ‘N Kids.) LiiNK is recommending that kids play outside at school four times a day, based on Finland’s recess policies and its top ranking in most educational categories. Want to find out how recess helps kids learn? Click here:

That’s it for the Friday Five. We cannot resist the call of a pumpkin spice latte, so we’re off to go get one. Tips for things you’d like to see in the Friday Five? Drop us a line at